Up to Tahiti with a plane load of paddles

Monday June 26, 2017 Written by Published in Paddling
Carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on their very capable shoulders. 17062236 Carrying the hopes and dreams of a nation on their very capable shoulders. 17062236

Cook Islands paddlers travel to Tahiti to represent their islands against the best in the world.


The paddlers will partake in two competitions while overseas, the Te Aito Tahiti which serves as a primer for the main event and will run over the next two days, as well as the inaugural IVF Va’a World Distance Championships.

Taking place from June 27 to 30, Serena Hunter, the legendary paddler and three time Sportswomen of the Year is keen to take on the new challenge.

“I’m pretty excited, we’re all pretty excited. It’s been a big goal this year and we’ve been training very hard, and now we’re just looking forward to putting all that training into practise and racing as hard as we can.”

The event will see the best paddlers from around the world competing in long distance oe vaka races of 18km to 27km in V6 and V1.

This exciting elite paddling competition is the main sporting event for the International Va’a Federation this year and is being hugely hyped up by Tahiti who will be providing extensive media coverage, including live feed of races over the internet.

The Cook Islands is fielding individual paddlers in the V1 singles races in all categories of under-19, open and master men and women, and also three V6 teams in U19 junior boys, u19 junior girls, and master men.

Just like all great athletes, Hunter was very diplomatic when it came to answering how she would define a successful trip, though the confidence was still evident.

“I never put a number on it or anything like that. As long as I know I’ve paddled my best race, whatever the conditions and finish the race knowing that I’ve given it everything, I’ll be happy.”

“But of course, we’re going to compete and represent our country and do the best we can.”

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